I built a spreadsheet to model the effect of California state income tax rates on after-tax income and compared California with Washington State, which lacks an income tax.
I would have to earn about $12,000 more in California in order to earn the same after-tax income that I make in Washington State, and even if I did earn that income premium in California, I would likely not be able to save as much money each year because housing is more expensive in big cities in California. If I were to account for all of the cost of living increase, I’d probably need to earn $20,000 more each year in California to save the same amount each that I can in Washington State.
This spreadsheet really illustrates the power that income taxes wield over all of us…who knows, maybe this spreadsheet will even cause someone to move to a lower-tax state!
Click here to see the spreadsheet in a new window.
Note: Someone tipped me off soon after publishing this spreadsheet that I did not account for the fact that earning a higher pre-tax income in California would also potentially put you into a higher federal income tax bracket, and this scenario is not reflected in my spreadsheet (maybe in version 2.0?).
To those of you in disbelief that a deadly shooting could take place at a trashy bar/nightclub in Bellevue (Munch Sports Grill), let me teach you a lesson about trashy nightclubs: they tend to draw a dangerous crowd. As a result, your chance of getting shot there is MUCH, MUCH HIGHER than if you had gone out to the Irish pub across the street. This regrettable occurrence should come as a surprise to no one. If you value your life, you might consider avoiding the following venues:
-Most nightclubs in Pioneer Square
If you’re not sure whether the bar you’re going to is dangerous or not, a rule of thumb is that if you answer ‘Yes’ to two of the following questions, you should head elsewhere:
1) Is there a dancefloor inside the venue?
2) Is there particularly loud music anywhere inside the venue?
3) Is the venue charging a cover?
It is unfortunate that we all need to make conscious decisions in order to avoid danger, however, in that respect, choosing a nightlife venue is no different than selecting a mountain to climb: if you choose to climb Mount Everest (or go out to a nightclub full of lowlifes), you should expect a certain amount of risk (and even death).
More unfortunate still is that those who enjoy dancing must be extra vigilant. Is dancing something that people should be afraid to do? Of course not! Unfortunately though, dancefloors and loud music tend to attract trouble, and just because you wish things were different does not make it so.
Please stay safe and consider where you go partying before you get yourself into unwanted trouble.
If you haven’t seen the new Zaarly Storefronts, you should take a look. It legitimately might change ecommerce forever.
The team of geniuses at Zaarly has tackled a few big peeves we’ve all had with the legacy ecommerce establishment:
- Traditionally, online merchants focus on products and are horrible at selling services
- It’s hard to find local products/services which due to their proximity may be more relevant to what I’m looking for
E-commerce isn’t totally broken today, but it doesn’t really provide a good avenue to finding good local service providers (house cleaning, outsourced chores, lawn mowing, personal chefs, et cetera), and it is no good at helping you find Services (major ecommerce sites like Ebay/Amazon are much more focused on selling products). All the daily deal sites made ecommerce more local, but they only gave us deals on restaurants, spas, and some other things that we don’t really want or need. Zaarly Storefronts changes is. It is local (which makes its service offerings more relevant), it includes products (which is what most of us buy online, anyway), it makes buying services easy, it provides a clear visual introduction to the service provider or product, and does all of this in one place.
The gist of Zaarly Storefronts is that it is local products and services with with engaging descriptions and photos/visuals that give you a good idea of what you’ll get.
Here’s an example: you want someone to clean your apartment every two weeks because you don’t have time to do it yourself. Zaarly Storefronts says “Meet your new cleaning lady, Geannie Meckler!”:
See, read, click, buy. Now your house is clean. It’s intuitive and effortless. I think that Zaarly’s ecommerce innovations are going to drive its competitors to change the way they list products and services, so perhaps Zaarly Storefront will change the way commerce happens even on platforms outside Zaarly.
Here’s an example of some of the local products available on Zaarly Storefronts (which reminds me of a sort of virtual farmer’s market):
Kudos to the team over at Zaarly for building a hyper-relevant ecommerce platform!
I’m excited that Seattle’s famed 520 floating bridge is being replaced by a modern, safe 6-lane span. Here’s my composite rendering of what opening day will look like:
It is possible. Here’s proof:
Shoe performance while skateboarding: Acceptable.
I’m wearing the 1901 Driving Shoe in Brown available at Nordstrom.com for $89.95.
It all started in Seattle in 2008, when photographer and fashionphile Adam Sinding began taking photos of the fashionable denizens of his adopted hometown and posted them on his now-famed photoblog. Years later, in 2011, Sinding moved to New York City, enabling him to capture and curate an elite fashion scene that was on an entirely different level than that of the very provincial Seattle.
Adam’s work has been featured by Elle Magazine, mega-influential blog Refinery 29, Mary Claire, ELLE Japan, and New York Magazine. Just last week, The W New York Times Square hotel and Elle Magazine hosted an event to kick-off fashion week called Scene On The Street, a photo exhibit curated by Elle Fashion Editor Sydney Wasserman which featured street fashion photos from Le 21ème Arrondissement.
Here is a taste of what you’ll find on Le 21ème, as well as some photos from the event:
The Scene On The Street photo exhibit is viewable at the W New York Times Square’s Living Room until February 29th.
Slow Dance is the best thing to come out of Seattle since Mad Rad. I’d categorize it as electrosynth-infused hip-hop that’s danceable, and quite reminiscent of Swedish electro-hopper Adam Tensta. Check out Slow Dance’s new album below, and stop by their album release party if you’re in Seattle this Friday (it’s at Nectar).
In Washington State, there is an important initiative being put to a public vote that will determine if Washington will maintain its backwards and competition-stifling liquor sales monopoly. It’s called I-1183, and it’s being backed by Republicans (including the Attorney General, Rob McKenna), business leaders (including most notably Costco), libertarians, independents, and the state’s largest newspaper, The Seattle Times. Its detractors primarily fall into two groups: rural social conservatives and national liquor distributors. Big money has been spent on both sides, with most of the money in support of 1183 coming from Costco, and most (if not all) of the money in opposition of 1183 coming from national liquor distributors.
Why do big liquor distributors oppose 1183? Because under the current system, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is the sole buyer of liquor available for sale in the state, which locks in oversized profit margins for the big liquor distributors. If 1183 were to pass, liquor retailers could bargain with liquor distributors for the best prices and could choose not to carry certain brands (or liquor from certain distributors) that carry an excessive markup.
The Costco-financed ‘Yes on 1183′ campaign has been met with tens of thousands of vocal supporters, whereas their opposition seems to have either significantly-less supporters, or supporters who are much less vocal than those in the ‘Yes’ camp.
For an objective comparison, here are the numbers from each sides’ respective Facebook fanpages:
Yes on 1183‘s Facebook Page*:
- 35,147 ‘likes’/fans
- Six fanpages (one official page, five unauthorized/duplicate fanpages each with less than 80 ‘likes’)
- Timeline posts with up to 377 ‘likes’
- Timeline posts with up to 77 comments
- Polls with 1000+ responsesNo on 1183‘s Facebook Page*:
- 1,860 ‘likes’/fans
- Ten fanpages (one official page, nine unauthorized/duplicates; one has 647 ‘likes’, the others have less than 200 ‘likes’ each)
- Timeline posts with up to 58 ‘likes’
- Timeline posts with up to 10 comments
- No polls that I can find*As of 11/7/11 at 12:00am
In summary, 1183 supporters are absolutely trouncing their opponents–on the web, at least.
The ‘Yes’ camp has more than 18 times as many ‘likes’/fans as the ‘No’ camp, 6.5 times more ‘likes’ on its timeline updates/posts, more than 7 times as many peak comments on its timeline posts, and is using polls to great effect.
All this data begs the question…does ‘No on 1183′ have lots of real supporters, or is their campaign using its large budget to falsely create the appearance of grassroots support (also known as astroturfing)? The data on Facebook points to the latter, but we cannot rely on just one far-from-ideal dataset to answer our question. Doing so would be a failure of scientific and statistical rigor because Facebook is likely not representative of the state’s voting population.
There is another problem that complicates the route to finding an answer: public choice theory. The theory illuminates a common problem in democratic politics: minority special interest groups who stand to gain from changes oftentimes make themselves more vocal than those of indifferent majorities with little to lose. This could explain the gap in visible support of 1183–perhaps voters are evenly split on the issue, but the supporters of 1183 just happen to be much more vocal than its opponents.
So, which side is doing the astroturfing?
Neither side of the 1183 issue is totally innocent of astroturfing, but it is ‘No on 1183′ that is certainly guiltier.
Costco’s support for 1183 is largely self-serving, and it just so happens that their call for change has been met with quite a bit of support from individuals and politicians of all types (Democrats excluded). Big liquor distributors are likewise self-serving in their opposition to 1183, but because they’ve found themselves on the wrong side of a wedge issue that has widespread support, they’ve had to resort to a determined campaign of misinformation in an effort to confuse voters about what would happen if 1183 were to pass, and they’ve attempted to create the illusion that all firefighters, first-responders, and law enforcement professionals in the state are on their side, which isn’t true, either.
TouchBase for iPhone is an app that is so useful and innovative, I need to share it with you.
It effectively replaces your iPhone Calendar app and does all the regular things (creating/editing calendar entries, inviting others, et cetera) that you would expect. It really shines, though, when you’re running late to meet someone or need a map of the venue to navigate to the meeting venue quickly with GPS.
Here’s an example. If I create a calendar event called “Lunch with Tony W. at Grim’s Seattle”, TouchBase will automatically go through my iPhone contacts and find Tony W. and associate him with the calendar event. The app will also run a Google search for “Grim’s Seattle” and insert the top-ranked search result’s address into the location/address field of the calendar event. Since TouchBase knows who I’m meeting with and automatically fetched his phone number from my address book, I can call or text Tony DIRECTLY from the calendar event, and because TouchBase has automatically fetched the meeting venue’s address, I can navigate to it and get driving directions–also straight from the TouchBase calendar event. If I’m stuck in traffic for our lunch meeting, I can simply hit “I’m running late by 20 minutes” and TouchBase will send Tony a text to let him know (or I can call him).
This is the kind of useful extension of the calendar that I wish Apple had built into the standard iPhone calendar. Anyways, you can now have this functionality for just $0.99 (the price is set to quadruple to $3.99, so get it soon!).
I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of the Festival of New Spanish Cinema in Seattle on Wednesday at SIFF Cinema, and ran into the star of the film we’d just watched, (With or Without Love), Angie Cepeda:
The film was light-hearted and funny, and full of surprises. I wouldn’t have normally chosen to see a film in this genre, but after seeing the film I’m quite glad I did.
Check out the remainder of the festival, which goes through Sunday:
festival of new spanish cinema
September 21–25, SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall
The energy of Almódovar. The risk-taking of Amenabar. The unadulterated exhilaration of Buñuel. SIFF celebrates the return of the Festival of New Spanish Cinema, unveiling the next generation of Spanish film legends. Featuring first-time filmmakers and established masters alike, the very best in contemporary Spanish cinema comes to SIFF Cinema. Join us for award-winning comedies, romances and dramatic masterpieces, and the special unveiling of a horror classic.
Organized by Pragda and SIFF Cinema. Supported by the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC and Ministry of Culture of Spain-ICAA. Additional support comes from Consulate of Spain in Seattle and San Francisco, Instituto Cervantes Seattle, University of Washington, Iberia Airlines, American Airlines and Eurochannel. Wine courtesy of Martín Códax Albariño and Las Rocas Garnacha, our exclusive wine sponsor. Promotional consideration by 88.5 KPLU.
Series Pass Available!
All 10 films for $60 | $40 SIFF Members
Fashion’s Night Out last night was a monumental success, thanks to both its hardworking organizers and the boutiques and restaurants that invited us inside for a luxurious evening of shopping, crudites, cocktails, and the city’s best-dressed.
We began our evening at Mario’s, Seattle’s landmark luxury shopping destination.
We perused their impeccably-chosen lines from Brunello Cucinelli, Loro Piana, Kiton, and Isaia, sipped Caipiroskas provided by 42 Below, and enjoyed delectable bite-sized steak sandwiches from Morton’s.
Then, we ventured over to The Finerie, where we chatted with owners Michael and Tanya and sipped mojitos while we perused their racks.
Then, it was off to Barney’s, which kindly offered nibbles and a selection of cava and prosecco to us. A big thanks to Barney’s impeccable staff.
Nordstrom’s twitter team, led by Shauna Causey, held a tweetup at Nordstrom’s Flagship Store’s Nordstrom Grill, which was a real treat. A big thanks to Nordstrom!
Can Seattle’s retailers step it up again next year? Here’s hoping they do.
Imagine a cross between Kanye West, Michael Jackson, and 80′s synth pop, and you’ll have some idea of what Theophilus London sounds like. Really, he’s an enigma.
Theophilus London – Grey X Sage
I was lucky enough to meet him last night when he performed at a private show in Seattle for Bing (thanks, Bing!):
Here are a few more shots from his show (which was amazing!):
You can buy his most recent album on Amazon here:
And you can preorder his new album, Timez Are Weird These Days, on iTunes here.
I was lucky enough to meet my favorite living artist, Z. Z. Wei, last night at Seattle Asian Art Museum.
And he even gave me a copy of his book, Light and Shadow!
Check out his exhibition in San Francisco if you have the chance (it ends 4/2/11).
His gallerist‘s Artist Description:
“Z.Z. Wei’ s paintings transport us to a place where time stands still. His compositions portray quiet, yet powerful images reminiscent of a whimsical, rural America. Richly complex, they are filled with humor and loneliness, peacefulness and pain. They balance on the knife-edge of meaning, half in shadow, half in light, tempting those who choose to look beyond the mundane to experience a unique and timeless look at life.”
My favorite boutique in Seattle, the very innovative guys over at Deli, just got some new product in from the brainiacs at Creative Recreation:
I just found out that they’re got a few pairs left. Get down there and get your hands on a pair before they’re gone!
1307 First Avenue, Seattle, WA
This is undeniably good music. Surprisingly, it all came from Seattle.
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